Interventions for the Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults

Volume 116, Issue 1, Pages 129-147 (January 2016)


It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that successful treatment of overweight and obesity in adults requires adoption and maintenance of lifestyle behaviors contributing to both dietary intake and physical activity. These behaviors are influenced by many factors; therefore, interventions incorporating more than one level of the socioecological model and addressing several key factors in each level may be more successful than interventions targeting any one level and factor alone. Registered dietitian nutritionists, as part of a multidisciplinary team, need to be current and skilled in weight management to effectively assist and lead efforts that can reduce the obesity epidemic. Using the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Evidence Analysis Process and Evidence Analysis Library, this position paper presents the current data and recommendations for the treatment of overweight and obesity in adults. Evidence on intrapersonal influences, such as dietary approaches, lifestyle intervention, pharmacotherapy, and surgery, is provided. Factors related to treatment, such as intensity of treatment and technology, are reviewed. Community-level interventions that strengthen existing community assets and capacity and public policy to create environments that support healthy energy balance behaviors are also discussed.